Judge targeted over ‘a precious little girl’
There are many words to describe jailed Kentucky clerk Kim Davis. ‘Delusional’, ‘arrogant’, ‘bigoted’ and ‘stupid’ are probably the first that spring to mind.
But in the eyes of the Rev Philip “Flip” Benham, above, head of anti-abortion outfit Operation Save America, Davis is “a precious little girl”.
Benham, according to this report, was one of dozens of anti-LGBT activists who protested yesterday outside the home of the federal judge, David Bunning, who jailed Davis for contempt of court after she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Benham himself is a convicted lawbreaker. In 2010, the North Carolina pastor was found guilty of violating a state law that prohibits residential picketing for stalking a doctor who performed abortions. He was sentenced to 24 months probation.
The rally outside Bunning’s home in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, was organised by Operation Save America, and protesters carried signs distributed by the conservative American View group founded by the neo-Confederate creationist Michael Peroutka.
You, sir, are the one that’s in contempt of the law. You, sir, are the one in contempt of God’s court, you’re in contempt of the Constitution of the United States of America, of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and sir, you need to repent.
And he issued this threat:
If you don’t repent, we’re going to ask that the sheriff in Grayson County arrest you for putting this precious little girl into jail. It’s wrong.
We are holding Judge Bunning in contempt of almighty God.
“Coach” Dave Daubenmire, an anti-abortion activist who gained fame for challenging his firing by an Ohio public high school for leading team prayers with his football players, added:
We believe Kim Davis is the one following the law and the judge is the one breaking the law.
Police and federal agents stood guard outside the federal judge’s suburban home as protesters drove up in a truck festooned with pro-theocracy slogans and carrying signs that warned “the wages of sin is death – remember 9/11″.
The group arrived outside Bunning’s home about 2 p.m. and handed out fliers accusing the judge of committing a “grievous crime” and asking supporters to pray for him to repent.
Curious neighbors left Labor Day cookouts to watch the protesters shout and sing Christian songs, and some told reporters they believed the protest had violated the judge’s privacy and their own.
Said Bobby McGovern, who was visiting a relative who lives near the judge:
It’s sad that someone that did their job and followed the law, that his whole street now is affected by these yahoos with their signs and everything.
McGovern and Steve Halstead, his partner of 38 years, were among the first same-sex couples to legally marry in South Carolina after the US Supreme Court sided in November with an appeals court ruling to overturn the state’s ban.
Bunning, the son of former US Senator Jim Bunning and a George W Bush appointee, has said that he was forced to jail Davis because he suspected her supporters would simply pay any fines he levied to compel her to follow multiple court orders and issue marriage licenses.
Meanwhile, a song inspired by Davis’s incarceration – “Shut up and do your motherfucking job” – is rising in popularity on YouTube. It’s had over 45,000 views since it was posted on September 3.